Anxiety in the Face of the AI Revolution

From Fire to Silicon: Getting Used to Radical Advancement

“As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be.”

lorenzo snow

[This is Part 2. Parts 1 and 3 are here and here.]

The quote is from 1840. Snow was the 5th president of the LDS Church, the Mormons. It popped into my head as I was chewing on this post today. As I relayed in the introduction to this series, Man Created God In His Own Image (free public access), my mom was from an Idaho Mormon family (dad, a German immigrant Lutheran). But after the family’s conversion to evangelical, born-again Christianity in about 1970, I recall my mom quoting this passage in support of her newfound belief that the LDS Church is a “cult”…black pots & kettles, and all that… I digress.

Mom and us kids were eventually excommunicated from the LDS Church by request. Not that we’d ever been active in it, but you know how these things go…like all your online accounts. Super easy and automatic to sign up. But then to cancel later…? It’s like an Act of God is required, or something.

… Anyway, I thought I’d tell that little story about that quote to open this up and if you checked out yesterday’s post that I linked above, it’s relevant, since that’s the theme.

Huh… Radical advancement… Envisioned in 1840 and ignored—though according to references, it’s a core tenant of the Mormon Church. Makes me wonder how literal the founders of that church took Christianity. Perhaps they considered it more of a template of teachings upon which to layer more familial and small community teachings. I don’t know. Never studied it. At any rate, in today’s context, it strikes me as a pretty forward-looking idea if you hold, as do I, that all notions of Gods and their attributes and character and the religions that surround them are man made…attempts to grapple with fundamental questions and human curiosity.

So here’s what I’ve got to cover for you today:

  1. Some Crazy Ideas and Questions — Introduction
  2. The Sapient Paradox — A Puzzle of Human Intelligence
  3. The Bicameral Mind Hypothesis — Consciousness from a Divided Brain

Then tomorrow, in the final installment, I’ll be covering Language — The Gateway to Consciousness; The Interplay of Language, Intelligence, and Consciousness; Artificial Intelligence — A New Frontier for Understanding Consciousness; and the Conclusion — What’s It Good For and What Does It Do For Me?

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